It is essential that those suffering from Urinrary Tract Infections seek medical attention. Untreated, Urinary Tract Infections can lead to kidney failure and in severe cases, death. However, while a visit to the doctor’s is a must, it is also possible to treat Urinary Tract Infections using natural remedies. The first step in natural Urinary Tract Infection treatment is to understand what causes the infection.
Painful Urinary Tract Infections (also known as UTIs or bladder infections) occur when bacteria makes its way into the urinary tract and then multiplies and grows within the urine. UTI symptoms include pain when urinating, bloody or cloudy urine, and a frequent urge to urinate. Common UTIs fall into the category of Cystis – a relatively simple infection to treat. More dangerous infections which affect the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys are known as Pyelonephritis. Although more common in women, men can also suffer from UTIs. Women are more prone to the infections because they have a much shorter urethra then men. Thus, the bacteria travels more quickly from the anus or genital area into the bladder. UTIs are not a communicative disease, although sexual intercourse and vaginal rubbing may increase a woman’s chance of developing a UTI. Other contributing factors for women are: failing to urinate directly after intercourse, pregnancy, the use of a diaphragm, dehydration, and inadequate personal hygiene. Men who suffer from UTIs often gain the infection through a prostate infection, kidney complications, or an E-coli infection (which causes nearly 85% of all UTIs in men or women).
The most common natural remedy for treating UTIs is the consumption of cranberry juice or cranberry pills. Proanthocyanins (organic compounds found in cranberries) work to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls. This makes it easier for the urine to wash the bacteria away during urination. UTI sufferers wishing to reap the benefits of cranberries are advised to take cranberry pills or to drink unsweetened juice since sugar can increase the growth of a UTI.
Other natural remedies for UTIs include increasing one’s intake of vitamin C and consumption of the herb Uvi Ursa. 5,000 mg of vitamin C daily will inhibit E-coli growth and cause the urine to become more acidic, thus killing off some of the bacteria. The herb Uvi Ursa fights infection by creating an antiseptic environment in the kidneys. Uvi Ursa should be used with care as it may have some negative side affects (nausea, ringing of the ears, etc…) and should be avoided by those pregnant, nursing, or suffering from kidney or liver disease.
Natural remedies should not be taken in place of seeking prompt medical attention. They can, however, help to prevent UTIs and to treat them in conjunction with prescription medication. Daily cranberry pills, vitamin C, and Uvi Ursa (when necessary) can help to prevent the onslaught of pain and discomfort for those prone to UTIs.
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